NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice Thursday 12/16


Welcome to the daily NBA betting market report, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, or check out The Edge daily at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.

All game lines via VSiN NBA Odds page.

Market Report for Thursday, December 16th

Thursday means the usual short slate to make way for the NFL, but there is still value to found in such a finite selection.

*Indicates team is on the second leg of a back-to-back

**Lines are opening numbers

Detroit Pistons at *Indiana Pacers (-10.5, 210)

Detroit will not have Jerami Grant on the floor tonight, but Cory Joseph, Killian Hayes and Hamidou Diallo will be available which makes this line somewhat odd. The Pistons are essentially the same team with or without Grant on the floor, getting outscored by 12.2 points per 100 possessions when he is on the floor and 11.5 points when he is off, so his loss should not alter the rating of this team much at all. Indiana has been in much better form lately, posting a 7-5-1 ATS record over the last 13 games with a + 3.5 net rating. However, they were either underdogs or favorite of no more than 7.5 points in those contests. Asking this team to cover 10 or 10.5 seems like quite the ask. Detroit is 1-3 ATS in its last four games, but one of those losses was to Brooklyn and the other was a loss to Oklahoma City in which it blew a fourth quarter lead. The situation is not as dire, and as long as Cade Cunningham is out there and Grant is the only absence I will take 10 with the underdog.

Play: Pistons (+ 10)

*Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets (PK, 212.5)

Bettors will have to monitor the injury report tonight when it comes to Philadelphia as the 76ers come in on the second leg of a back-to-back after losing to Miami last night. Joel Embiid and Seth Curry, both of whom were on the injury report last night but played, will be questions until confirmed to be out there on the floor. If those two play, the 76ers will need to address the issues with this offense that have hung around for some time now. Since Embiid returned from nine-game absence the 76ers are 26th in offensive efficiency, averaging just 106.6 points per 100 possessions. Embiid’s presence improves their defense dramatically, as they allow 105.4 points per 100 possessions when he is on the floor, but this offense needs to improve if they are to be competitive. There is certainly a chance that offense finds its flow tonight against a COVID ravaged Nets squad. Brooklyn has seven players in COVID protocol, including James Harden. Kevin Durant and Patty Mills are still available, and when those two are on the floor without Harden the Nets have a + 24.9 net rating and average 128.2 points per 100 possessions, so not all is lost for the home team. The market moved toward Brooklyn here due to the 76ers playing a back-to-back and I would agree with that. Durant is in the midst of an MVP season and he has enough beside him to be slightly favored at home. However, the lack of bodies will make the non-Durant minutes a journey for Brooklyn and one I do not want to embark on.

New York Knicks (-4.5, 216) at *Houston Rockets

Houston has dropped three of four and last night they looked more like the team that started the season 1-16 SU/6-10 ATS in getting blasted by Cleveland. The Cavaliers put up 1.253 points per possession, limited the Rockets to an offensive rating of 85.1 and won 124-89 at home. The Rockets were dealing with a rash of missing personnel and tonight could be the same problem. Christian Wood and Eric Gordon missed the game, but Gordon should be back as last night was just a night off. Wood might not, as he is dealing with a knee injury. Houston has also been without Danuel House, Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green for sometime now, which makes Wood’s presence all that more important tonight. New York will be desperate here to break out of a 1-7 SU/2-6 ATS slide over which it has been outscored by 8.2 points every 100 possessions, but that is easier said than done. The Knicks are 18th in offense (109.2) and 28th in defense (117.4) over that stretch and frankly should not be road favorites over any team, even Houston. They are also dealing with COVID issues as well, with RJ Barrett, Obi Toppin and Kevin Knox in protocol and out for this game. The betting market is as high as -5 here in favor of the Knicks, but I have seen nothing to warrant laying that number away from home with this team.

*Washington Wizards at Phoenix Suns (-9, 216.5)

A 14-point loss to Sacramento last night dropped Washington to 1-6 SU/0-6-1 ATS in its last seven games. Since Nov. 17 the Wizards are 5-11 SU/3-12-1 ATS with a -8.0 net rating and the fourth-worst defensive rating in the league (115.2). It seems the betting market has finally come to its senses here and has dropped the hammer on this team’s rating. Phoenix hosted San Antonio just 10 days ago and as a 7.5-point favorite. This line is telling you the Wizards are 1.5 points worse than the Spurs and I do not necessarily disagree. The Suns are still missing Devin Booker, but Deandre Ayton was back in their overtime win over Portland and this team still has plenty of depth to deal with a struggling visitor. If a bettor were to buy on a clear market adjustment on Washington I would not blame them, especially given the missing piece for Phoenix, but it would take more than just nine points to get me to buy on a team playing basketball at the level of one of the worst teams in the NBA.

Best Bets Summary

Pistons (+ 10)

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